paper, 463 pp., $45.00
The dedicated authors have created a field guide for the Midwest, focusing on desirable native shrubs and vines for the landscape. “Our personal landscaping goals have always revolved around attracting wildlife to the area and improving the landscape from an aesthetic as well as a diversity standpoint.” They point out that these native plants are not only hardy, but also have many attractive characteristics. An illustrated glossary introduces readers to the particular plant parts that differentiate species. The plant directory is first divided into sections covering native versus introduced plants; these, in turn, are further divided by type. Summer and winter key guides assist the reader. Narrative passages for individual species include such characteristics as form and size, habitat, wildlife use, and landscaping value. Photographs of high clarity, locator maps, and tips on similar species are additional aids in identification.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden